Nintendo Vs. Emulators

Nintendo has brought a lawsuit against and, of which are owned by the same person, over copyright infringement.  Anyone who knows Nintendo wouldn’t be shocked by this hardliner stance against emulation.  Nintendo hates piracy more than anything, probably more than they like making money.  Some would say Nintendo has partaken in the acts they hate most, by monetizing YouTube videos protected under Fair Use, for using a few seconds of a publicly distributed trailer footage.  But that’s a story for another time.  Emulators themselves are not illegal and have been protected in court.  ROMs on the other hand, are illegal.  But is it necessarily wrong?  Not always.  Sometimes the only feasible way to play a game is to download a ROM.  Either they aren’t available because of licensing or were never released outside of Japan.  For example, Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was never released outside Japan.  The only way for anyone outside of Japan to play it downloading a translated ROM.  These aren’t potential sales Nintendo lost, these are sales that Nintendo never had a chance of getting.  Nintendo doesn’t lose a dime.  Yet, Nintendo aggressively goes after any site that provides these ROMs.


Nintendo is technically legally right to do so, but they look very petty and vindictive by doing it.  Plenty of people would love to give Nintendo money to play these games, but no better legal options are available.  As with the success of Spotify, Netflix, and Crunchyroll, people will pay money if the legal alternative offered is more convenient than the illegal one.  If Nintendo provided a Netflix-like service for their extensive library of games. People would be falling over themselves to sign up for it.  Instead we get the shitty Virtual Console with its over priced drip feed of ROMs.  Switch Online is attempting something like it, but Nintendo has been very vague about what that entails.  So far it will have 20 NES games at launch, supposedly more will be on the way.  That might be worse than the VC.  Really Nintendo?  That’s the best you can do?  This is exactly why people are pirating your games.  You don’t offer better alternatives.


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Nintendo comes across as very dickish in all of this.  Almost like bullying.  Emulation sites are not cutting into their profits.  Instead of bringing lawsuits, how about consider giving the consumer a better, more convenient option.  Until then, many of us will continue using emulators.  I myself prefer not to download ROMs, but I understand why people do.  Nintendo deserves no sympathy in this situation.  All they are doing is encouraging pirates to continue out of spite.  Many decisions Nintendo makes only seem to benefit scalpers.  Nintendo has a history of understocking supplies to retailers, like Amiibo and the previously mentioned NES and SNES Classics.  Have you seen the markup on some of these things?  These anti-consumer practices that don’t even net Nintendo more money.  Maybe gamers wouldn’t be pirating if you didn’t purposely understock desired items. Did you ever think about that?  No, of course you didn’t.

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  1. First of all Nintendo has every right to do this. It’s their franchises so if they want to protect their franchises they are free to do this. Even if you went to one of the sites it was all deck out with Nintendo stuff. But they really have nothing to gain by doing this. Bottom line they need to give people better options on how to play their older games. If Nintendo was smart when it came to this they could be making a fortune off of this. But no they want to do Virtual Console from the Wii to the Wii U. Have people pay for the title they bought on the previous gen console and expect consumers to be ok with that? And not all of their games are available on Virtual Console. If it is not the console they would like to play it on. But if Nintendo expects people to own an old console and play it on a CRT TV (which many people don’t have laying around anymore) they are crazy. If I buy a copy of Super Mario Sunshine today Nintendo is gaining NOTHING in terms of profits. That game is out of print and I would be buying it from a 3rd party seller. Nintendo could just easily sell the ROM and play it on an emulator of the buyers choosing. As for emulators it is very convenient for people to use these days. That’s why people use them. And as far as my understanding with having ROMs you can have a ROM of a game you physically own. Now do people always practice this? Not at all. This is reminiscent of what music industry under went in the early 2000’s when Napster came about. And you know what happened with that. In the end I think the consumers will get what they want and Nintendo (along with other developers) will sell ROMs/ISOs of their games and you can play it on an emulator of your choosing. We can only hope right!

    1. >Nintendo could just easily sell the ROM and play it on an emulator of the buyers choosing

      I’ve always wondered why Nintendo doesn’t just make its own official Nintendo ROM site. Seems like a no-brainer doesn’t it? Instead they just release a tiny handful of their old games on the e-shop…

      Seems like they’re leaving money on the table to me. It’s not like they even have to create the ROMs or something; they already exist! All they’d have to do is make the website or shop.

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